Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight

q&A collie

lose. Breeding is not about winning, it’s about having the ability to select for virtues that make the breed what it is, understanding correctness and being consistent in the selection process. Not every breeding produces quality and not every Champion should be utilized in a breeding program. Learn all you can, because we are all always learning! When you think you know it all, think again because your only fooling yourself! SH: You might notice, I did not mention coat. While a beauti- ful coat is gorgeous, I will put up a Collie out of coat, with good structure, and movement, over a poorer one with a lot of coat. RJ: I would just like to remind all Collie enthusiasts to read the standard over and over again. It will help you if you are a judge, breeder, owner, handler, or just like to watch the Collie ring. This is just as important if you are in to the Collie as a performance dog. GK: Study the Collie standard. We are so lucky that we have a wonderfully written and descriptive Standard. Learn it, memorize it, understand it. Even the old-timers need to occasionally refresh themselves. Sometimes, you think something is in there—when it is not! I always reread it before a judging assignment! I know AKC tries to do a good job with educating and keeping all the judges up to date whether it is breed specific seminars, newsletters, articles, etc. However, it’s really difficult for judges to know and understand all the breeds they judge. That’s why I always appreciate those all-breed judges who actually go over the Collie head and look at expression. So many times, you enter under a judge and they don’t even touch the head or look at expression. They just go over the body parts and move the dog. I realize it’s very difficult to understand and appreciate those special traits and nuances that make every breed special. That is why I really appreciate spe- cial magazine issues like this one! MR: Finally there is one thing I would like to see changed with regard to judging the Collie. Most all breed, non Collie breeder judges, do not understand the importance of judging the head properly. There are a large amount of Collie specialties across the country. Here on the west coast, we have 26 specialties in Califor- nia and Arizona per year. All local Collie club offer ring- side mentoring and have breeders available to help the non-breeder judges learn more about the Collie—espe- cially the head. I wish more judges would take advantage of it. Even if a judge is already approved for Collies, they would improve their entries if exhibitors knew they have studied the breed and understand the emphasis that placed on the head. Out west we have nice majors at the specialty shows, but the all breed entries are rarely more than 2 points. I also wish if a judge does not like judging Collies, they wouldn’t apply for them. It is apparent to the exhibitor when a judge doesn’t like the breed. We would rather they just don’t judge them. LR: The one thing that I would like to add, many years ago I entered a show and the judge turned her back to us the

entire time we did the down and back. She told me to go around the ring and spend that time talking to the stew- ard. I feel each entry deserves to be evaluated equally. The exhibitor has paid for your opinion, they may not like it, when you hand out ribbons, but they all should be treated in the same manner. 7. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? RH: Oh well there are a number of those and some I will never tell, so if it could happen I am sure I have experienced it. I have fallen in the ring a lot, ripped my skirt more than once, thrown bait hitting the judge, splattered mud on other exhibitors, knocked down the entire ring, accidently visited the men’s restroom, locked myself in my RV and I have gotten lost more times than I should admit. SF: Going Winners after a judge said at the top of her lungs, on the go-round, “Bobby, why is your bitch limping?” After I showed her the torn toenail, she said, “Oh, that’s all right” and put her up. SH: Once, when I was showing Maelen in Open Obedi- ence, I threw the dumbbell short over the high jump. She jumped, picked the dumbbell up, turned and was literally right at the jump. She stood there, staring at me, frozen in place (along with me and the judge) and then slowly turned around, walked away from the jump about 10 feet, turned around again, then started trotting and jumped! She got a CDX leg that day, and the crowd and judge laughed like crazy. RJ: Back in the late 1970s, I was at specialty and all-breed shows in Reno, NV. It had rained heavily before the shows. The grounds were a baseball field. After the specialty show, the ring was a muddy mess. A few people had slipped and gone done in the mud. When we showed up the next day to show in the same ring, the spectators had made up cards to score each fall. And fall I did. I had a wrap skirt on when my feet slid out from under me. I landed butt down in the mud with my slip covered in mud. I believe I scored a “9”. Others weren’t as lucky being able to hide the mud that day, but I do think a perfect “10” was scored by another handler! HM: The most humorous thing I have ever seen at a dog show was when I was watching the judging of a very large Rottweiler entry. The judge had gone over the dogs and was sending each one around the ring one at a time for a final view of side gait. As the next exhibitor and her dog were going around, she tripped on the matting and the lead slid out of her hand. The dog continued around the ring as if nothing had happened and came to a halt four feet behind the previous dog. He looked back at his handler who was picking herself up and then just stacked himself up perfectly and looked at the judge. A big round of applause came from the spectators, and wouldn’t you know it, that dog won the class!

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